Article

Differences in proteoglycan deposition in the airways of moderate and severe asthmatics

Meakins-Christie Laboratories, Montreal Chest Institute, McGill University Hospital Centre, Université de Montréal, Montreal, QC, Canada.
European Respiratory Journal (Impact Factor: 7.13). 02/2007; 29(1):71-7. DOI: 10.1183/09031936.00047905
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Excess deposition of proteoglycans (PGs) has been described in the subepithelial layer of the asthmatic airway wall. However, less is known about deposition in the airway smooth muscle (ASM) layer, and whether the pattern of deposition is altered depending upon disease severity. Endobronchial biopsies were performed in patients with severe or moderate asthma (defined using American Thoracic Society criteria) and in control subjects. Biopsies were immunostained for the PGs biglycan, lumican, versican and decorin. PG deposition was measured in the subepithelial and ASM layers, the former by calculating the area of positive staining, and the latter by determining the percentage area stained using point counting. Immunostaining for PGs was prominent in biopsies from both moderate and severe asthmatics, compared with control subjects. While there was no difference in the amount of PG in the subepithelial layer between the two asthmatic groups, the percentage area of biglycan and lumican staining in the ASM layer was significantly greater in moderate versus severe asthmatics. Differences in the deposition of proteoglycans within the airway smooth muscle layer of moderate versus severe asthmatics potentially impact on the functional behaviour of the airway smooth muscle in these two groups of patients.

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    • "A recent study has demonstrated, in vivo, in an animal model, that methacholine responsiveness and the effect of changing lung volume on mechanics are altered when ECM is genetically altered [5]. Finally, differences in the ECM deposition within the airway smooth muscle layer of moderate versus severe asthmatics have been demonstrated , with a potential impact on airway smooth muscle behavior [6]. The ASM cell is emerging as a key cell in airway remodeling of asthma [7] [8]. "
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